Impaired driving happens when someone operates a vehicle while impaired by a substance like marijuana, other illicit drugs, some prescribed or over the counter medicines, or alcohol. Over 12 million Americans reported driving under the influence of marijuana or other illicit drugs in 2018. Driving while impaired is illegal in the United States and can be dangerous or even deadly. We know a lot about alcohol’s effect on driving. However, we need more research to understand the effect of drug use and polysubstance use (using more than one drug or using drugs and alcohol together) on crashes. There are promising strategies that can assist states and communities with preventing impaired driving.
CDC recently released a drug-impaired driving fact sheet. The fact sheet presents strategies such as high-visibility enforcement and the use of drug recognition experts to identify impaired drivers and highlight what some states have done and what other states can do to address impaired driving. CDC encourages states to use the new fact sheets to identify strategies to help people stay safe on the road.
CDC also recently released a new fact sheet on data linkage for non-fatal crash injury surveillance. About 3 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes every year in the United States. Linking existing data sources such as police, hospital, and emergency medical service (EMS) records is one way to better understand these crashes. Data linkage is essential to inform injury prevention programs, policies, and decision making. The fact sheet explains how states can start or expand a data linkage program. Decision makers and public health professionals can use the new data linkage fact sheet to learn how linking data can help states and communities better target crash prevention efforts.
CDC: Impaired Driving
CDC: Data Linkage